I was working the desk at Camp Central when the call came. I couldn't answer it right then, so as soon as my shift came to an end, I called Brett back. He didn't answer his cell phone or his work cell or even our home line. I could feel my heart rate increase.
When I finally got Brett on the line, my fears were confirmed. Something bad had happened.
"Aunt Oma died."
But that's impossible! Nana and Papa's anniversary party is Sunday—and Oma's going to be there! And she hasn't even been sick!
With both of us in tears, we had to hang up and try the conversation again later. Later is when Brett told me what he knew: that she was found in bed that morning and that he was on his way to his mom and dad's house.
Brett has an amazing family, and it has been such a blessing for me to get to know his aunts. We lost his Aunt Linda to cancer several years ago, and we still miss her. Last summer it was Aunt Norma on his dad's side of the family who died, and our visits to McGregor will never be the same. So now we're forced to say goodbye to Aunt Oma, and I still cannot believe she won't be playing Scrabble at Nana's table come New Year's Eve.
I was still a good 24 hours away from leaving camp, and I desperately wanted to be home. I needed to hug my husband and his family, and I hated grieving alone. But dorm mom duty called, and I knew that even with transportation (way-too-generous friends offered to swing up and get me—a six-hour roundtrip!), I couldn't abandon my responsibilities for getting everyone packed up and cleared out. I also knew that as much as I needed to comfort and be comforted, all that could wait one more day.
Being at camp turned into a real blessing, too. At that night's worship time, every song had a little more meaning, and right there amid all the contemporary youth-group-type songs, we sang an oldie: "When Peace Like a River." That song gets to me every time, mostly because it was my daddy's favorite and I can still hear him leading it. But one line really spoke to me that night: "When sorrows like sea billows roll/Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say/It is well, it is well with my soul."
A friend emailed this thought:
The curves along the road of life are sometimes sharper than we thought, then you get that out of control feeling and just try to hold on and make it through...
Thursday was definitely one of those times when we were just trying to hold on, and I was so thankful to have our Father to hold on to!